By Rosanne Graef, Past President – WENA
Today’s Topic: Kaffeeklatsch!!!
Coffee? Tea? Hot Chocolate? You’re sure to find all here in the West End. Shops offer everything from quicktakeaways, award-winning goodies, authentic down-home Maine atmosphere and eclectic interiors. With so many choices, how to decide?
I turned to some in-the-know West Enders for their recommendations. My consultants were asked what’s important to them, as well as their personal favorite spots.
Considerations when choosing a spot were divided into 4 major categories: Product (coffee, tea, hot chocolate); Availability of Other Food; Ambience; Convenience/Philosophy/Amenities, which contained 17 specific topics.
Herewith, the results…
Way ahead and tied for first place (64 pts.), were Servers’ Friendliness and Locally Owned. Next up Taste/Presentation (53) and Servers’ Professionalism (52). Cost (48), Interior Design (46), Availability of Baked Goods (42), Books/Magazines/Papers (42), In/Out Quickly (41) followed.
In the thirties we find Organic Ingredients (39), Sandwiches, etc. (36), Other Customers (35), Lots of Variety (34).
Trailing the pack are WiFi (26), Gourmet Offerings (24), Packaged Convenience Foods (22) and, in last place, Parking (20).
CM – Yordprom where I buy the best coffee beans. Mattie who works there is the best thing that ever happened to coffee.
JS – If I stay, I like it if the dish-ware is nice, unique or fun looking and of good quality. I don’t have a favorite spot on the West End, although I spend a lot of money at Aurora for coffee, mainly because of consistency and convenience.
DM – I think my favorite place is CBD. The coffee/hot chocolate/tea(chai) is dependably delicious. The service is always wonderful & friendly. I love their community philosophy, their CBD beginnings story, and I appreciate their success.
SG – I like Omi’s at the corner of Brackett and Summer Streets because it is a good place to visit with friends or sit and read. Coffee and service are both good.
As for me, I have a group of favorites, all within easy walking distance no matter the weather. Depending on my mood, mission and companions, here is my list:
Cafe OHNO – a rotating yearly show of aluminum foil sculptures and great breakfast sandwiches. The first one I ate was a #3 and I’ve never switched.
Fresh Approach – catch up on the local gossip, peruse the bulletin board, read the local papers, this is where you can still feel the pulse of the old West End.
Clark Street Deli – Vespucci’s it’s not, but a take-out coffee on a summer morning, a stroll over to Clark Street Park to sit on a bouncing dinosaur and contemplate the meaning of life–what could be better?
Ruski’s – a place for all seasons. Want to be alone and pensive? Shoot the breeze with true Portlanders? Yak and plot and solve the world’s problems? You can do it all day and half the night at Ruski’s, and have three squares while you’re there.
Oh, by the way, these places all have coffee.
How about you? Where do your preferences fall and what’s your favorite coffee spot in the West End? E-mail lavidalocalWEN@gmail.com and we’ll continue this Kaffeeklatsch.